Alternate History

Richard Nixon (For Want of Sobriety)

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Richard M. Nixon
Richard Nixon
37th President of the United States
In office:
January 20, 1969–January 20, 1977
Vice President: Spiro Agnew (1969-1973)
John Connolly (1973-1977)
Preceded by: Lyndon B. Johnson
Succeded by: Edward M. Kennedy
36th Vice President of the United States
In office
January 20, 1953 – January 20, 1961
Preceded by: Alben Barkley
Succeeded by: Lyndon B. Johnson
United States Senator from California
In office:
December 1, 1950 – January 1, 1953
Preceded by: Sheridan Downey
Succeded by: Thomas Kuchel
Member of the United States House of Representatives from California’s 12th congressional district
In office:
January 2, 1947 – December 1, 1950
Preceded by: Jerry Voorhis
Succeded by: Patrick J. Hillings
Born: January 9, 1913
Yorba Linda, California
Death: April 22, 1994
New York City, New York
Birth name: Richard Milhous Nixon
Political party: Republican
Spouse: Thelma Catherine “Pat” Ryan
Children: Tricia Nixon Cox
Julie Nixon Eisenhower
Alma mater: Whittier College
Duke University School of Law
Occupation: Lawyer
Religion: Quaker
Military service
Allegiance: United States of America
Service/branch: United States Navy
Years of service: 1942-1946
Rank: Lieutenant Commander
Battles/wars: World War II (Pacific Theater)

Richard Milhous Nixon (January 9, 1913 – April 22, 1994) was the 37th President of the United States, serving from 1969 to 1977. Nixon had previously served as a US representative and senator from California and as the 36th Vice President of the United States from 1953 to 1961 under President Dwight D. Eisenhower.

Nixon was born in Yorba Linda, California. After completing his undergraduate work at Whittier College, he graduated from Duke University School of Law in 1937 and returned to California to practice law. He and his wife, Pat Nixon, moved to Washington to work for the federal government in 1942. He subsequently joined the United States Navy, serving in the Pacific Theatre during World War II. Nixon was elected to the House of Representatives in 1946 and to the Senate in 1950. His pursuit of the Hiss Case established his reputation as a leading anti-communist, and elevated him to national prominence. He was the running mate of Dwight D. Eisenhower, the Republican Party presidential nominee in the 1952 election, the first of five national nominations he received from his party, a record he shares with Franklin Roosevelt. Nixon served for eight years as vice president, traveling extensively and undertaking major assignments from Eisenhower. Nixon waged an unsuccessful presidential campaign in 1960, narrowly losing to John F. Kennedy, and lost a race for Governor of California in 1962. Following these defeats, he announced his withdrawal from political life. However, in 1968 he ran again for the presidency and was elected.

American involvement in Vietnam was widely unpopular; although Nixon initially escalated the war there, he subsequently moved to end US involvement, completely withdrawing American forces by 1973. Nixon's ground-breaking visit to the People's Republic of China in 1972 opened diplomatic relations between the two nations, and he initiated détente and the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty with the Soviet Union the same year. In domestic policy, his administration generally sought to transfer power from Washington to the states. In an attempt to slow inflation, Nixon imposed wage and price controls. He enforced desegregation of Southern schools and established the Environmental Protection Agency. Though he presided over Apollo 11, the culmination of the project to land a person on the moon, he scaled back manned space exploration. He was reelected by a landslide in 1972.

Nixon's second term was marked by crisis: 1973 saw an Arab oil embargo as a result of U.S. support for Israel in the Yom Kippur War and his administration encountered a crisis of confidence following the resignation of Vice President Spiro Agnew in the wake of charges of corruption. Nixon proceeded to sign the Helsinki Accords, marking a move toward détente in the Cold War. With the conquest of South Vietnam by North Vietnam in 1975, U.S. involvement in Vietnam essentially ended. Domestically, Nixon presided over arguably the worst economy since the Great Depression, with growing inflation and a recession marking the latter half of his tenure. despite this, he was succeeded by Edward Kennedy in 1977.

In retirement, Nixon's work as an elder statesman—authoring several books and undertaking many foreign trips—helped to rehabilitate his image. He suffered a debilitating stroke on April 18, 1994, and died four days later at the age of 81. Nixon is generally remembered as a controversial President who subsequently reinvented himself as a respected statesman.

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